Dem pesky wabbits

Rabbits cease to be cute once they form a plague.

Carcasses litter the roads and burrows pock the hillsides and parks of the coastal Otago settlement, and the township wants help to fight back.

Moeraki Village Holiday Park owner Robbie Mitchell said the population was larger than he had ever seen.

“[The population has] probably doubled in size from two years ago – they’re cleaning out everything,” he said.

“You could drive from the main road into Moeraki, which is probably a kilometre and a half, and you’d see 50 to 60 rabbits on the road.”

The proportion of the plague became most obvious in the evening and morning, when the roads and hills crawled with them, he said.

That “irresponsibly released” Calicivirus has done its dash.  The rabbit population has built a natural immunity to it.   Who could have guessed that?  /sarc  

Residents had pinned their hopes on the release of a new strain of the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Virus Disease, she said.

The application was before the Ministry for Primary Industries and had already faced delays.

It could be another year before it was released in Moeraki, she said.

Otago Regional Council director environmental monitoring and operations Scott MacLean said if approved, the town was a priority for release of the strain.

“It’s certainly no silver bullet, but if we are able to release that it will help land occupiers in their rabbit control efforts,” he said.

All it will do is put the problem off for another day.  When the rabbits resistant to the new strain will go out of control again.

There clearly is an absence of natural predators for rabbits in the greater Otago area.  But don’t dare suggest that people go in and shoot them.

That would be cruel.  /sarc



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.